Rays offense out to a promising start

Rays offense out to a promising start

ST. PETERSBURG -- Situational hitting, power hitting and a lot of runs. Yes, the Rays' offense has a promising early-season look to it.

Runs were plentiful Friday night when the Rays defeated the Blue Jays, 10-8, at Tropicana Field.

"It's been fun," Brad Miller said. "I think we've shown flashes of what we're capable of. I think everybody's still kind of feeling it out a little bit.

"We have some guys who are carrying a little bit more of a load than the others, but everybody's a part of it. That aspect is pretty fun. Putting up 10 runs like we did tonight. It's pretty good to see this early."

Evan Longoria is the longtime linchpin of the group, and he doesn't seem to be missing a beat, as evidenced by his two-run homer in the Rays five-run first.

Longo's two-run homer

Miller is back -- he hit 30 home runs in 2016, and, unlike last year, he appears to be comfortable at the start of the season. He had a two-run double in the win.

Logan Morrison came off the bench to pinch-hit for Rickie Weeks Jr. and came through with two hits in two at-bats. He has five RBIs on the season, which is five more than he had for the month of April last season.

Morrison's RBI single

Steven Souza Jr. is locked in. Friday night he came through with a two-run double in the sixth that put the Rays up for good at 8-7. He's hitting .389 for the young season.

Prior to hitting his double, Souza dropped a fly ball in right field after losing the ball in the lights. He noted that he could not let his misplayed ball affect the rest of his night.

"Just, obviously not something that happens very often out there, so, I mean there's nothing I could really do after it happen," Souza said. "Just try and pick somebody up. It's out of my control when it happens, and that's something I'm trying to work on as far as giving away at-bats, or giving pitches away. Let it go and try and help my team win."

Rays manager Kevin Cash has some flexibility with his lineup, too. In addition to having Morrison come off the bench as a left-handed pinch-hitter, he also has Corey Dickerson. Dickerson also got two hits, including a pivotal double in the Rays' three-run sixth.

"Couldn't be happier with the way those guys are [hitting]," said Cash about his offense. "It seems like different guys that are contributing. We talked about last year, the runners in socring position. That's something we are doing better right now early on, but the two-out RBIs have become huge."

Miller knows that it's early in the season, but he believes the Rays are "all learning from last year."

"Maybe it's through experience individually, or not getting to where we wanted to as a team," Miller said. "I think we have a sense of urgency."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.